Due to popular demand, I’ve compiled my favourite photos of the USA as we traversed it in 2013. We started the year in New York and undertook a mammoth road trip to Florida. After our travels around Central America we returned to US soil in New Orleans. Following the Big Easy, we took our first campervan trip from San Francisco to Seattle and back experiencing some of the most eye-poppingly beautiful natural landscapes we’ve seen so far. Next we flew to Boston and then left the country via New York as the weather was warming up in June. We’ve seen this massive country coast-to-coast, and yet it still leaves so much to be explored and we’re yearning for more.
From the thousands of photos taken in 2013, here’s my favourites from North America.
New York, NY
Star Spangled Banner
Looking back towards the Statue of Liberty, the flag waving proudly on the back of the ferry in the breeze caught the sunset just beautifully.
New York City skyline
Getting close to sunset, the downtown office buildings lit up bright orange reflecting the warm glow on this chilly day.
Pigeons under a park bench, and providing fodder for Mia and Caius as they chased the unsuspecting birds around the park. It was a particularly freezing winter day as we waited for the ferry which would take us to the most iconic symbol in the US, the Statue of Liberty.
Empire State Building
On top of the world from undoubtedly the most iconic skyscraper in the world. Looking south, the winter sun casts long shadows over mid town and down town. On the horizon across the Hudson River, Jersey City can be seen to the right and Brooklyn on the far left.
From the Lincoln Memorial, looking down the Pool of Reflection to the iconic needle. The intimidating marble pillars create a frame drawing your attention to the monument piercing the cloudless sky.
The atmosphere in this cavernous room is very sombre. Lincoln’s imposing presence, casting a stare towards the Capitol building, is able to strike at one’s heart just by simply being close to this statue like no other.
A thumbs up from our captain was a good sign that everything was ok as our wide aluminium boat skimmed across the swampy waters. After much searching, we came to the location of a submerged alligator peeking at us wearily.
New Orleans, LA
Bread and olives
This city is packed wall-to-wall with delicious cuisine from “po’boy” sandwiches to beignets (French donuts) to jambalaya and gumbo. This supposedly small bowl of olives as an appetizer perfectly encapsulates the excess of fabulous food around every corner.
Auburn Butterfly Park
Walking through the warm, humid room was surreal as I stood still and a butterfly landed gently on my shoulder. The colours of the flapping butterflies covered the entire spectrum of the rainbow.
This classic steamboat is the only original still in action on the mighty Mississippi River. Complete with a tooting melody from steam whistles, and friendly Southern hospitality, this icon transported us not only up the river but also back in time.
This majestic plantation rich in history will remain in our memories forever, not only for the shocking slavery stories, but also the perfectly designed double row of huge oak trees that were planted 300 years ago, decades before the actual plantation house was built.
This city is one of the only places that graves are not dug into the ground, but are above ground due to the high water levels from the Mississippi River. The ornate and intricately sculptured tombs are incredibly beautiful.
San Francisco, CA
On The Bay
From a view high up on Alcatraz I looked down to see a ferry quietly floating past. With the setting sun casting a warm glow across the bay, the panorama was simply gorgeous.
Golden Gate Bridge
The icy blue waters contrast with the bright orange structure with such simplicity and beauty. It was a fantastic evening sailing around San Francisco Bay on a catamaran.
Arriving early in the morning we caught the sunrise over the mountain which cast beams of golden sunlight through the trees. The moment was truly magical.
Mt St Helens, WA
Mt St Helens
The foreground shows remnants of the 1980 eruption which flattened and charred millions of trees. The heat simply evaporated the moisture from the wood so quickly that the trees were unable to burn, leaving the timber strewn around discarded toothpicks.
Seattle EMP Museum
All styles of guitars were brought together to make this most amazing piece of art – the centrepiece for this museum of music. It was without a doubt, the most fun museum I’ve ever visited and the kids didn’t want to leave.
The Gum Wall
Located near the market in the centre of Seattle, this iconic wall is covered with hundreds of thousands of pieces of chewing gum. Apart from the obvious hygiene concerns, it is an incredibly colourful and, in some ways, a beautiful decoration.
Crater Lake, OR
By chance we had reached Crater Lake in the first week the roads opened after the Winter season. With snow-capped peaks enveloping the surreal mirror-like surface of the caldera, we stood on the western rim lookout and just gazed silently, mouths slightly ajar, in awe of sheer unfathomable majesty of this planet we call home.
Lake Tahoe, CA
High above Lake Tahoe on the south-western side, the tall trees break to reveal an amazing scene.
Yosemite National Park, CA
As one of the tallest waterfalls in North America, the sheer size of this natural wonder dwarfs ones self and puts a single life in perspective of the world around.
Very much by chance we were driving through the national park and I spotted this lush green field with Half Dome in the background.
Watching the sunset with friends was made even more special with this unexpected gorgeous silhouette.